You may remember the internet uproar and outrage at an app called Peeple when it was announced late last year. The app, which allows people to review other people either positively or negatively, is being referred to as the “Yelp for people.” Many were not fans of the idea that anybody online would have the opportunity to post negatively about any person they want without repercussion. The most probable scenario is that the app turns into an internet comments section except with every bad thought and criticism in one easy to find place. And that’s not even taking into account the legal and ethical issues that could arise with an unfiltered platform which anyone can use to post disparaging or abusive things about another person.
According to The Calgary Herald, the app is still moving forward with a proper launch and it is set to go live Monday. It doesn’t sound as if the creators have learned their lesson about the narcissistic or offensive nature of the app, but some changes were at least made to inhibit the chances that negative reviews can be seen by anyone who wants access.
Peeple will let users rate each other in three areas: personal, professional, and romantic. In a change from the original concept, reviews are only posted with the consent of the person being reviewed — that is, the service is opt-in and a user can hide their negative reviews.
It is a positive sign that the women who created the app seem to have taken some of the harsh criticisms to heart and made changes accordingly. Being able to opt into or out of the app is a huge improvement and will allow people to maintain privacy, and avoid being personally attacked in public, with ease. It’s one thing to give a restaurant one star and rail against the quality of their fries without them approving the post, but doing the equivalent to a living, breathing person with feelings is a bit of a different thing. Of course, there’s a loophole for the whole “hiding negative reviews” detail.
…A planned future paid subscription Cordray called the “truth license” — not available for Monday’s launch — will let users see all reviews, even hidden ones…In other words, assuming most people wouldn’t voluntarily make their negative reviews public, the app could in effect be positive-feedback only without the subscription, which Cordray said they hoped to offer by April.
A “truth license” sounds like something awful Death Eaters would create and use to take over the world in Harry Potter so it is appropriate that the truth license is the app’s get rich quick scheme. Paying to see negative reviews about other people is a dark timeline, so with any luck users won’t opt to pay for that privilege and the app will have to recalibrate it’s approach once again. That may be wishful thinking based on how the internet treats people though maybe this time the world will take us by surprise in a positive way for once.
(via The Calgary Herald)